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  1. #1

    Unlicensed home daycare ratios


    I am currently in the process of opening up my own home daycare. I am choosing to be unlicensed. I understand that I could only care for 5 children and only 2 could be under the age of 2 years old. But I was wondering if I can only have 5 children under me in total. Or can I have lets say 8 different families but I schedule them to only have 5 children a day in total. I'm only asking because I am getting a lot of part time requests. If someone can help me out to understand this it would be appreciated.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    273 Times in 199 Posts
    In Ontario you can only have 5 children in your care at anyone time, but can have many kids registered to your daycare. So yes you can have 8 or more kids signed up for care (part time) as long as you don't have more then 5 kids in your care even for a minute or two.

    If you have children of your own 6yr + they never count in your numbers
    If you have children of your own 5yrs and under they count in your numbers
    Running a High Quality Home Daycare Business This site is for providers who would like help with contracts, forms etc. It has a lot of great information.

    A Parents Guide to Home Childcare in Ontario This is a site to help parents learn about how home daycare's in Ontario are run.

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  4. #3
    Thank you very much!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    168 Times in 148 Posts
    you can have part-timers just keep within your numbers of 5 per day

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  7. #5
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    728 Times in 466 Posts
    A lot of caregivers here started out with part time children but soon learned that it can be problematic. A part time child leaves spots empty on their non-care days. You can sometimes find another family to fill those empty days but then if one family leaves you are left trying to find another family that can fill just those set few time slots which can be increasingly difficult. It can leave you with open spots for long times, and less pay.

    Many caregivers do manage and enjoy providing part time care but it is worth noting the challenges it brings. It is difficult to begin with part time care and switch to only full time care as it requires either waiting till all part time families leave your care ( could be years) or terminating families for no reason other than you no longer want to do part time which isn't ideal on your reputation.

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  9. #6
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    403 Times in 292 Posts
    I agree with LeeBee. I think initially, when we all begin this journey, we are so focussed on filling the spaces, that we sometimes fail to assess if our actions are the wisest.

    I have always only taken full-time children but was saved a lot of lessons from a good friend who had a day care for any years before I opened. I have bent my own rule a couple times over the years - parents on mat leave or those wanting 4 days so grandparents can have a day - and it's always bitten me.

    What I would say, is that if you decide to take part-timers, do so in a way that protects your income and your ability to pay bills. There are ways that you can minimise the impact of part timers on your lost days.

    Rotating shifts - contract for pay a min of say 3 days a week and if they attend more than three, then they pay the additional days. However, they pay those three days even if they only need 2 days some weeks. Their schedules are usually available a good month in advance so require that. No option for the parent to send their child for the three days unless her schedule reflects that. The financial gain of the occasional three days pay for 2 days work is compensation for the potential loss every week of the unused days.

    Higher rates - Don't be afraid to charge a higher daily rate for the additional flexibility of only having to pay for fewer days.

    What I think a lot of new providers miss until it's too late, is the understanding of the knock on affect of part-time. If they want say three days a week on Mon, Wed and Fri, that means you have to find a different client to fill Tue and Thurs to have that space at full time capacity. It's quite hard to find someone who wants just two days that happen to be the exact two days you have empty. And then, if one of those two client's leaves, your back in the same situation of finding a new person for those set days. The first ever client you take PT, likely picks the days they want but then you are stuck with that division of the space indefinitely.

    Try to think of a full time 5 day space as being a 100% space. If someone comes wanting 2 days, that's a 40% income for a 100% space until you manage to find someone else to slot in. Is 40% income worth it to you or are you better off declining the part timer and waiting for a FT client to come along? If it takes you a year to find someone wanting those empty days, that's a loss of 3 days a week x 52 weeks = 156 days income. That's the equivalent of over 31 weeks FT lost money! It's unlikely if you turn away that PT'er that it will take 31 weeks to find a full time client but it's not unlikely to take a year to find someone who wants the exact three days you have empty.

    Think about FT care in your business hours as the basic service. FT care = 100% capacity on each space and the fees are what your area demands and what you need to profit and earn. When you are under capacity due to vacancies or PT empty days you are losing money but working the same hours with fewer children. Anytime a potential client wants to vary your normal service with longer hours, fewer days, etc then you should consider if that requires more than basic fees to make the agreement worth while to you. Don't be afraid to decline a request.

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    118 Times in 101 Posts
    It depends what area you live in. In southern ontario, we're having trouble filling the over 2 years old spots, as we're limited to 2 under 2 years, so often have to accept part-time just to keep some income in the spot.Definitely charge a premium on less than 5 days a week, and make it a 3 day a week minimum.

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